Can you build strength using resistance tubing or bands? Yes! Some people think that the light resistance bands used for physical therapy and rehab are the only option. There are bands and tubes that are quite stout and handles that can accommodate multiple tubes at a time. I have a set that you can attach up to three 100 pound tubes to.
Why tubing instead of free weights?
Tubing offers a safe alternative to using free weights because the load gets progressively greater as the band stretches which follows the natural strength curve on many exercises. This allows a person with joint or connective tissue injuries to have less stress on their injury at the starting or stretched position. Anyone that has had a tendentious can appreciate the fact that the stretched position is the point at which the greatest pain is felt.
Even people with no injuries can benefit from some tubing or band exercises. Because tubing does not rely on gravity you can use them in any plane of motion. This allows you to work on core stability by forcing you to brace and balance yourself as you exercise. Bands also offer a way to develop power because you need to accelerate your limbs to keep the handle moving as the resistance increases as the bands stretch.
Unilateral Band Fly Technique
- Attach a resistance tube securely to an immovable attachment point.
- Be very careful to make sure the tube is secure and that there is no way that it will come unattached.
- Stand in a wide stance with your arm fully extended.
- Tighten your core and rotate your arm in front of you while keeping your elbow stationary.
- Maintain a controlled decent as you return your arm to the starting position.
Note: This exercise will challenge not only to your pectoral muscles but also to the stabilizing muscles of your trunk. The range of motion that your pectoral muscles are under tension is also much greater when using a band. With a dumbbell fly, there is probably only about 25 degrees of motion where your chest is fully under load.
As you complete the rep the weight is no longer putting any tension on your pectoral muscles at all. With a band, you are creating a maximum force when your muscle is fully contracted. Not only is this exercise safer, it is superior to its free weight counterpart.